Malaysian singer-songwriter, Yuna, has finally found her musical groove with her latest album Chapters. Her previous outings which included two EP’s, her 2012 US debut, Yuna, and 2013’s Nocturnal, were a eclectic mix of indie pop mixed with contemporary folk. Her earlier efforts brought comparisons to the artists Sia and Coldplay and clearly showcased her Bob Dylan and Feist influences. Yuna has taken an evident detour from those genres into channeling her inner Aaliyah with soft hypnotic vocals that merge seamlessly with R&B and Hip-hop shaped grooves. This shift from her carefree indie pop offerings to smooth and sexy R&B jams which fit nicely into a sweet pocket of slow and mid tempo honey, has ushered in collaborations with artists Jhené Aiko on “Used to Love You” and “Crush” with R&B king Usher.
Other exceptional tracks on the album include the Sade-esque song, “Unrequited Love” that mirrors the rising emotion of “No Ordinary Love”. Although she lacks the vocal range of Sade she achieves the sensual enigma that became a Sade trademark. My favorite song on the album that firmly establishes her footing into the R&B game is “Best Love”. It features velvety vocals over a quivering, laid-back, head nodding track with simple lyrics that declares her desire for the best kind of love. With Chapters, Yuna has proven that R&B could potentially be the best genre to boast her full musical prowess.